Devotion: Praying for Enemies

When Lindsay and I left the hospital last week, we loaded up the van and started driving down Providence Road during rush hour.  As I drove carefully (and slowly) down the road, I was amazed at the speed others passed me.  Have grown up in Atlanta and spent time in New Jersey, I usually am the aggressive driver cutting through traffic.  This experience, however, made me realize how isolated we are in our vehicles—unaware of what is going on in the car next to us.

            As we zigzag our way through traffic we often forget that the person next to us is a child of God.  We tend to see them as a nuisance to our lives rather than a person who may have just received devastating news, who may be celebrating great joys, who may have been chewed out at work …or just someone in hurry to get home and watch the Office.  They are real people, and not our adversaries.
            Jesus’ command that we love our enemies is one of the most challenging for me:  
As he says in Luke’s Gospel, it is easy to love those who respect you, but it is nearly impossible to love those who are your enemies.  “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them…But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return” (Luke 6:27-36)

One way I have found to “love my enemies” is to genuinely pray for them.  Something happens to our spirit when we pray for a person who annoys us.  It actually transforms us, not only them.  We gain insight and empathy.

Who are some people that drive you crazy?  What ways can you show them love?  What things may you pray for them?  

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